In the next part of Nodfactor.com’s interview with Kidz In The Hall’s Double-O he shares how he got started DJing and producing, then gives us the skinny on why the group strayed away from sampling on The Land Of Make Believe album.
DJing for me starts with the movie Juice and GQ in the bedroom with the fingerless gloves on not really scratching but scratching. Going back to watch that movie is hilarious because you’re like “was hat mixer even on?” [laughs] That whole vibe is just really what put me onto it. There were a couple of older cats that took me under their wing that let me open for them when they did backyard parties etc. It’s funny because during that whole time I was doing blends before they were known as mash-ups. I might throw Jodeci on a house record, mixing instrumentals with acapellas. That’s what happens when you only have one copy of a record, you gotta figure out how to use them in different ways. That was my initial foray into creating something newer than just playing a record.
My freshman year of college I met this kid Jeff that was a rapper from the Bay who wanted to do an album. He’d come over and play instrumentals and stuff. I worked at AT&T that summer doing data entry and I saved up for a DR-550 drum machine and an Optimus keyboard from Radio Shack. We had this extra room in our house and all of sudden it became a studio. I used this thing called a bursar card—don’t do this unless you’re going to pay your student loans back– that you could buy your books with. But they had a computer section and the computer section had Cubase and all this other [software]. So I bought all that for the computer too. But I had no clue what I was doing. I think the way I made my first beat–because I couldn’t make drums back then–I played a melody into the sampler, saved it, and then took a punk rock break that was on the drum machine and slowed it down from like 160bpms to 82bpms and it sounded like a Master P record. So I was like “yeah, this is dope.” For whatever reason I flipped the “Beverly Hills Cop” theme, I think it was the only thing I knew how to play on piano. Made a whole beat out of that. I only made three beats that whole year because the process was way too difficult. Never knew how to use midi, never knew how to use any of that stuff.
Then I saw this thing on line called the Yamaha QY70 all in one production…it was like $400. It had all the instruments in it and the sequencing was easy. Plus it was battery powered so I’d be sitting in class or at lunch banging out beats. Jeff and I were making a bunch of records on that.
Then I got an internship at Sony doing all the fun grunt work setting up Rodney Jerkins midi set-up and all that. That is where I cut my teeth actually learning the equipment. Somebody there was like “If you don’t know how to use an SP or an MPC then you’re not a real producer.” So me being stupid listened to them. So I was back there just learning how to chop stuff on the SP-1200 and the MPC because they had them there. I took a liking to the MPC-60II so when I went back to Philly 8th St. music had one. I had it on lay-a-way forever trying to get it out. I think I got it for like $800. I put down a $100 and returned some DJ equipment and then I borrowed a keyboard from my friend. I guess I really stole it cuz I never paid him for it. I was supposed to—Apologies. That was when I met Naledge and he came into what me and Jeff were doing. Our relationship built from there and became Kidz In The Hall years later.
But now his set-up has gone back to being more software based. Check out our clip of him discussing the pros and cons of sampling.
“Our biggest success (“Drivin Down The Block”) was with original records so going into the third album we said lets do an entire record without them. And I think that’s where we lost people, honestly…”